Sharing our experiences is good for our wellbeing.

We share stories to feel good, to find connection and validation. We also share our experiences to exchange wisdom and knowledge.

But sharing the stories that really matter is not always easy. It’s hard to be vulnerable when we fear being judged or misunderstood. It can be tough too when sharing our experiences feels emotionally overwhelming and we don’t have the right support, or we don’t want to hurt or worry the people we love.

Most of us will be asked to share difficult things at points in our lives. A friend or loved one might ask about a traumatic experience. A manager at work might want to know how we’ve been feeling after a major illness. A clinician might ask how we’ve been feeling and what support we need.

Scottish Book Trust’s digital storytelling workshops are designed to provide people with a safe space to share experiences that really matter, and a creative opportunity to put together a digital story.

With a small group of around 4-6 people, the workshops involve:

  • Introducing the group and helping them feel comfortable with each other.
  • Helping them gather story ideas.
  • Helping them write a script, or capture their narrative in another way (for instance, through a storyboard).
  • Exploring how to choose visuals for their story that capture key emotions and meaning.
  • Teaching them the basics of video editing, so they can shape their digital story the way they want to.
  • Holding a final celebration screening within the small group, to recognise each person’s achievement in creating a story.

This process looks different for each group, depending on how people prefer to learn, the creative choices they make, and any accessibility needs they have.

It can feel wonderful just to share the finished story within that small group, and afterwards, storytellers are given full control over what happens. Some have chosen to share their story with decision makers and professionals. Some have shared it online or at community events to help others going through the same experience. Some have shown it to family members and friends. Others have chosen to simply keep it private, having enjoyed processing their experiences through story and producing a creative piece.

The methodology is very flexible, and at Scottish Book Trust, we’ve worked with a wide range of people, including people affected by cancer, adopted young people, Deaf people, refugees and people living with dementia. Our recent partnerships have included Macmillan Cancer Support, Scottish Adoption and Fostering, and MS Society Northern Ireland.

If you or your organisation/group would like to get involved or know more about digital storytelling, you can:

We all have a story that others want (or need) to hear. As Christina Baldwin says, ‘The ordinary stories of our ordinary lives have extraordinary gifts coded within them’. Digital storytelling is all about celebrating and giving a platform to these (extraordinary) ordinary stories, and recognising that each story is a gift.

End of page.

You may also like:

Written by: Margaret Fender, General Practice Nursing Transformation Lead, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Published: 10/07/2024

Why self management is the transformational change needed within our health care services, from the Nursing Transformation Lead at NHSGGC.

Continue reading
Written by: Shari McDaid PhD, Head of Policy and Public Affairs (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), The Mental Health Foundation Published: 02/07/2024

The Mental Health Foundation's, Shari McDaid PhD, tells us why challenging poverty stigma is vital for people's mental health.

Continue reading
Written by: Grace Beaumont, Programme Manager - Self Management Published: 11/04/2024

Self Management Programme Manager Grace reflects on the fifteenth anniversary of Gaun Yersel, the Self Management Strategy for Scotland.

Continue reading
Back to all opinions